'Lore' by Alexandra Bracken is easily one of my most anticipated releases of 2021, so I was thrilled to get the sample chapters for an early glimpse.
I've long been a fan of mythology from around the world. I love the classic tales and legends and I love the more modern works that have either emerged as actual retellings or just borrowed some of the amazing characters and developed whole new worlds to experience.
'Lore' falls into that last category.
The story is about a girl named Lore and a punishment put into place and structured like a game that has existed for over a thousand years. As the book opens, those involved are on the 212th cycle.. as every seven years the Agon takes place.
Nine Greek gods, having dared to rise against Zeus.. led by Athena.. and having failed, are forced to walk the earth as mortals. For seven full days, they're hunted by the descendants of ancient hero bloodlines. Those who succeed in capturing and killing one of the nine, seize their divine power and immortality for themselves.. until the next cycle.. that is.
As Lore's roommate and best friend Miles says..
"..every seven years this ... hunt happens. And the location changes-- sort of like the Olympics, only with more murders?"
I love Lore. She's got a vicious angry streak to be sure, but she's not a bad person. She's the last of her family line and she's actually stepped away from the ancestral oath. In hiding herself, first a childhood friend she believes is dead finds her, then a gravely wounded goddess.. Athena herself, shows up on her doorstep and drags her back in.
There's a lot on the line here. A fact the author drives home in early scenes as she unapologetically ends one of my favorite characters pretty much on sight. The game is brutal and no one is pulling any punches, least of all the new gods.
Obviously, only reading a few chapters doesn't let me get very far into the story or the character building that I expect to see, but I'm already intrigued by Castor and the chemistry between him and Lore. Though whether he's to be friend or foe in reality, is yet to be distinguished.
Even Athena is amusing. She doesn't deal all that well with human needs. She's disdainful of them at best and that's certain to be a mixture that will make me laugh here and there.
I can't wait to read more of this book, I just know it's going to be great. Imagine the destruction that lies ahead..